3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It's funny, and disturbing, because it's true ...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Two Girls Fat and Thin (Paperback)
Mary Gaitskill's Two Girls, Fat and Thin is a brilliantly satiric but nonetheless disturbingly realistic story of how cults appeal to the alienated and confused precisely by providing them with a sense of belonging and simple answers to complex questions. And, given the mixed messages they receive daily about gender, sexuality, identity, empowerment and the body (see any issue of YM, for example, or, for that matter, Cosmopolitan), it's hard to imagine anyone with greater potential for alienation and confusion that the adolescent American female. In Gaitskill's hilariously parodic roman a clef, the two girls of the title, "fat" Dorothy and "thin" Justine, are taken in by the "Definitivist" philosophy of one Anna Granite, in a transparently veiled, hysterically accurate spoof of Ayn Rand's "Objectivism." Anyone who's suffered through Rand's didactic, overwrought novels will be delighted by such details, such parodies within the parody, as Granite's fictional fictions, The Bulwark and The Gods Disdained. And given the essential similarities between Granite and Rand, Definitivism and Objectivism, Gaitskill's novel makes it difficult to see how anybody takes the latter seriously, although the Rand cult continues apace nonetheless (see Jeff Walker's excellent study, The Ayn Rand Cult [LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1999]). It's funny, and disturbing, beacuse it's true ...